Tag Archives: movies

Favelas

I’ve never been to Brazil, though it holds massive appeal to me. There’s a lot to like: rainforest, soccer (they call it futebol), the culture, various meats served on swords. Even the notorious ‘rough’ parts of Brazil seem kind of alluring. Let me explain.

MMMMMMMeat on swords

MMMMMMM sword meat…

I’m always interested to see how ‘the other side’ operates and navigates day-to-day life in any country. Not in an idiot poverty-gawking American sense (Look, Ma! That feller’s peein in the street!). My interest in the world’s ‘wrong sides of the tracks’ isn’t academic, journalistic, do-gooder based, thrill-seeking or scientific. I think it’s mostly just inquisitiveness. It’s also practical.

For one thing, I find that meeting people who look and live different than you do is the spice of life. Also, fancy places are pretty similar the world over. Shopping malls in Chengdu, Cape Town, Calcutta and Columbus are largely indistinguishable. Wealth seems to breed insipidness, as well as the propensity toward being a pompous jerk.

Poor places in general are usually just more interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I am well aware that there is nothing fun, quaint, exciting or entertaining about poverty. There’s nothing nice about high infant mortality rates and not having access to life’s basic essentials. What I’m trying to say is that whatever country you’re in, it’s usually the poorer areas where you’ll find the most interesting people, the warmest hospitality, the most innovation, the most unique experiences, and the best food.

Getting a sense of how the poor, the forgotten, the feared and reviled, the outcasts and outliers live is always an enlightening experience. How do they survive? What’s their life like? This seems like a good starting point for trying to figure out a country, and understanding the people who make up a country. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under F Commentary, Faith, Film, F Entertainment, Foreign Lands

Foreva? Foreva-eva?

Today we’re talking about the concept of eternity. You know, that never-ending expanse of time that, according to many major religions, awaits us all once we shuffle off our mortal coils. Our bodies die but our immortal souls linger on forever and ever yada yada yada.

Before we get going, I want to note that for this particular piece I’d just like to consider what a positive eternal setup might look like. While it’s hard to refute that all of us deserve some sort of punishment after we die (or at least be made to perform some sort of embarrassing musical number in front of all the assembled nations, tribes and judgmental peers), I’d rather not spend time speculating on what a negative eternity might consist of. I can’t even imagine a never-ending DMV trip or traffic jam, much less with flames.

Moving forward with the ‘positive afterlife scenario’ paradigm, what will we do with all that time after we die? Christians, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Hindus and most other religions all have different ideas of how the hereafter works. Zoroastrianism contends that the righteous will forever reign with Ahura Mazda.  (sounds so peaceful and automotive!)

We have the official orthodox party lines from all these religions about what eternity will consist of and how we’ll spend our time. Most of which seem to predict various forms of idyll, worship, pleasure and ongoing paradise. Sounds pretty cool.

But how about some specifics? I have so many questions about this arrangement.

I suppose no one alive really knows exactly how it all works. What eternity looks like and consists of is one of those mysteries of the universe we’ll just have to wait on, so in the meantime let’s do what we do best here: offer up some wild speculation, outside-the-box thoughts, unsubstantiated hypotheses, and hopeful guess-ery.

Involvement with Human Affairs

If we learned anything from Angels in the Outfield (other than the fact that Tony Danza had clearly never thrown a baseball in his life previous to filming this movie), it’s that the dead have the power to exert influence over the outcomes of sporting events. I imagine this sort of thing will occupy much of our time (such as Auburn’s Chris Davis being carried on sweet angels’ wings all the way to the end zone in last year’s supernatural Iron Bowl).

Chris Davis, flying to sport glory on the wings of blessed angels?

Chris Davis, flying to sport glory on the wings of blessed angels?

Perhaps we will also be involved with the living in other ways, like Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Maybe the recently deceased are immediately given ‘helper’ or ‘guardian angel’ tasks? If this is the case, it will be interesting to see whether or not we are assigned to monitor a geographic area, specific individuals, or if we’re just supposed to be on the lookout for certain problems (i.e. bridge jumpers, weaving motorcyclists, rollerbladers with no brakes, drunk people trying to feed animals.) Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under F Abstract Concepts, F Commentary, Faith

Fifteen Favorites From 2013

We did it! We completed another year discussing things that start with F. I thought for sure we’d run out of compelling things to talk about by now, but the letter F continues to yield a rich supply of fascinating, fantastic minutiae.

2013 was another banner year for TMF. I want to thank all of you for your kind and continued support for this incredibly silly endeavor, which hopefully will continue to serve as an enjoyable escape for F enthusiasts — and Indonesian spambots bent on selling me low price fashion design purses — for years to come.

OK enough with the platitudes, let’s have look at fifteen of the finest flashes from the year that was: 15 of our favorite posts (along with choice excerpts) from 2013!

15. Fourteen Freds“…but the Crime Dog is the best of the bunch. The Tampa native managed to smash 493 career dingers despite his awful swing that looked like an old left-handed man swinging a cane at a mosquito…”

“Another all-time great Fred, Mr. Rogers is still inspiring all of us to be better neighbors. Last year after reading a story about Mr. Rogers, I removed a spiteful cactus wall I’d planted just to anger my neighbor.”

14. FreebirdYou’ve probably heard the song. You most likely know at least some of the words, have cranked it on the radio, and dare I guess, you’ve fervently air guitar’d along with it at some point.  But for those of you in far-flung places like Australia, Belgium, or Ohio, you may not fully appreciate the true meaning – the profound cultural weight – of Freebird.”

13. Frightening Fish“Despite Sebastian the Crab’s misleading portrayal in The Little Mermaid of life under the sea being some sort of delightful Calypso paradise; the reality is not quite so idyllic. The truth is that there are many alarming things lurking under our waters…”

12. 440s – 450s A.D.“Legend has it that during this time, Polynesian bigwig Hawaiiloa and a group of intrepid sailors sailed thousands of miles from their home in the South Pacific and managed to reach Hawaii. (Just another early example of Americans goin’ big, punching limitations in the face, and rockin’ it superpower-style).”

11. Fillmore, Millard“Did he enable a little bit of slavery here and there? You bet. Was he anti-Catholic, anti-Mason and did he generally loathe immigrants? His Know Nothing party affiliation would suggest probably so. Is he almost always rated as one of the worst U.S. presidents of all time? Strike… Either way, it’s redemption time for one of our most obscure, forgotten leaders.”

10. Flossing (Scared Straight)“Y’all just take a seat right over there. I wanna talk about your teeth. I used to be just like you. Cruisin’ through life, not thinking about my teeth. Sure, I knew in the back of my mind it was wrong to not floss; I had seen the commercials and whatnot. Momma always told me it was important. I suppose I knew there would be consequences one day.  But I didn’t care; I was young and invincible, right? <really starts yelling and getting into frightened kids’ faces> Look at me! Look at me now! Y’all don’t wanna be like me! Bleeding gums, needing a prescription mouthwash and a special toothbrush… You think this is funny? Advanced stage gingivitis homey!” Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under F Lists

Foreign, Familiar Faces

One of the greatest things about our world is that everyone is different. Every person is a unique snowflake.

However some snowflakes are not quite so unique. The truth is that many of us look exactly like other people. In my case that has unfortunately mostly led to Rick Moranis or Steve-O from Jackass comparisons (save one glorious time when a small, possibly nearsighted child misidentified me as very tall NFL quarterback Matt Ryan), but for better or worse, almost all of us look like someone else.

Even the world’s powerful elite are not immune from looking like other people. No corridor of power is untouched by this phenomenon. When I first saw His Holiness Pope Francis I thought he was Rudolph Giuliani. Or maybe Dennis Hopper.

Here are a few other examples of world leaders past and present who look like someone else. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under F Lists

Fourteen Freds

Last year we had a post honoring the world’s Franks. The time has now come to celebrate another workmanlike, perfectly adequate name that for some reason has fallen on hard times: Freds of the world rejoice!

In doing a bit of research for this post, we stumbled upon a delightful/simpatico resource that honors the Freds of the world in a worthy manner: The Fred Society. There may be some overlap here of the Freds we highlight, but I hope our combined efforts can build more Fred-respect and perhaps create a resurgence of kids named Fred.

Here’s to you, people named Fred!

Fred McGriff – There have been a slew of notable baseball Freds (Fred Lynn, Freddy Garcia, Freddie Freeman, Freddie Sanchez, and of course my friend JD’s favorite manager, the much beloved Fredi Gonzalez), but the Crime Dog is the best of the bunch. The Tampa native managed to smash 493 career dingers despite his awful swing that looked like an old left-handed man swinging a cane at a mosquito.

Fred 'Crime Dog' McGriff pointing with authority.

Fred ‘Crime Dog’ McGriff pointing with authority.

Fred Astaire – Outside of MC Hammer, maybe the best dancer of the 20th century.

Fred Astaire, born Frederick Austerlitz, the pride of Omaha.

Fred Astaire, born Frederick Austerlitz, the pride of Omaha.

Fred, Right Said – The 60s gave us Civil Rights and Dylan, the 90s gave us Pokemon and Right Said Fred; the creators of the timeless tribute to unmerited braggadocio I’m Too Sexy. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under F Athletics, F Commentary, F Lists

Frightening Fish

Under the sea, under the sea… Life is de bubbles, under the sea.” – Sebastian the Crab

Despite Sebastian the Crab’s misleading portrayal in The Little Mermaid of life under the sea being some sort of delightful Calypso paradise; the reality is not quite so idyllic. The truth is that there are many alarming things lurking under our waters. Let’s have a look at some of the creatures you should be aware of.

Sebastian the Crab: Delusional or purposely creating misleading perceptions of life under the sea?

Sebastian the Crab: Misleading us about life under the sea?

Lungfish (freshwater) – This living fossil is a true horror monster brought to life. Certain kinds of lungfish are able to bury themselves in mud for months on end to survive a drought. That’s right, this little freak show doesn’t even need to live in water, it can just sit there waiting and lurking… eager for the chance to chomp you with its razor teeth. Oh yeah they can also walk on land and live for like a CENTURY.

lungfish

lungfish

Lungfish are found in Africa, Australia and South America, and despite being so awful looking, are actually eaten by some people. I’ll gladly leave them alone if they pledge to do the same for me.

Oarfish – Whenever something washes up on a beach that is even slightly reminiscent of a sea monster, it is always an oarfish. Every time. The next time you see one of those “Sea Monster Found?!” stories on Yahoo, don’t get your hopes up it’s totally just a dead oarfish.

wow, just wow.

Oarfish: wow, just wow.

These mysterious, elusive creatures can grow to more than 50 feet in length, fueling speculation that they were probably the “sea monsters” spotted by early navigators… OR WERE THEY???

No you’re right they probably were just oarfish.

Ocean Sunfish – These are so weird aren’t they? They look like those bullets from the original Super Mario Brothers with little flippers attached.

Look out Mario!

Look out Mario!

Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under F Lists, Flora + Fauna

Future Forecastings: Fortune 500s

As our world continues to careen uncontrollably toward the fulfillment of every major plot point from Idiocracy, we’d like to offer up this list of future companies that may very well make the Fortune 500 list in the coming years.

Cheeto Lint Roll, Inc. – Too tired to get up and wash all that Cheeto-dust off your hands? Don’t feel like expending the effort to lick the cheetle off your fingers? Try new Cheeto-Dust Lint Rollers! They’ll peel all that unwanted Cheeto surplus right off without all the hassle of getting off the couch! Cool Ranch Rollers sold separately.

All-Purpose Food Waffler – Wish everything you eat could be turned into a waffle? Well now you can thanks to the amazing Food Waffler! Simply place any food item inside the state-of-the-art All-Purpose Food Waffler©, push the ‘Waffle’ button, and wait for your food item to be compressed into a waffle-like shape!

Car Cruise Missile Outfitters – Attempts to circumvent the Handgun Ban of 2030 will result in the proliferation of vehicles being armed with mini cruise missile systems, both for safety and as a means to facilitate the resolution of traffic disputes. We can’t be more than 15 years away from it being totally normal to see soccer moms driving Honda Odysseys equipped with heat-seeking Tomahawk missiles.

Hydra-Pants® – This one’s actually semi-serious. I came up with this idea a few years ago after nearly melting to death in Hyderabad: Pants with an internal cooling system for the working man on the go.

Nervous on a first date? Have an aversion to shorts; or prefer to wear pants even in the dead of summer in an effort to hide the leg scars which bear witness to your dark past as a boar wrestler? No problem, just hit the switch on your Hydra-Pants and let the cooling system do its magic. It may be summer on the outside, but it’s winter for your undercarriage year-round!

Sure it’s a stupid idea but you know they’d sell like a billion of these.

Rent-A-Drone – Like to know what people are doing? Want to know what that shady neighbor’s up to? Have a sneaking suspicion that a coup is brewing in Bermuda and want to do a little reconnaissance? Hire a drone for the day and find out for sure.

2 Comments

Filed under Future Forecastings